Student self evaluation is an art that promotes improvement and success!

It shouldn't be reserved for adults with their jobs, as we educators need to teach young people the art as well.

Student self evaluation requires honesty and practice and when we decide to talk to our students about it, we must remember that it doesn't have to be a painful process and improvement must be their only goal.

The success of self evaluation depends upon your approach. Keep in mind 2 important points, establishing a climate and talking to your students about strengths and weaknesses.

1. Establishing a climate - for your students to be productive, the classroom climate can not be a critical one. You, their teacher must tell your class that - all of you want to get better and you need to be able to evaluate where you are now, your effectiveness with school. peers and teachers. Where do you stand in your own mind?

2. Strengths and Weaknesses - If you feel comfortable, discuss with your students how you make best use of your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses. If they see that you can evaluate yourself objectively, not only will you gain more respect and admiration, they will feel more comfortable creating their private list of strenghts and weaknesses.

Even though they will only see themselves, we may see strenghts they missed and this will set the stage for present and future student self evaluations.

You must help your students establish performance objectives and goals. They must be defined in order for students to be able to measure it. When goals are established, it's easier for students to make gains and feel better about evaluating themselves.

A teacher is responsible to provide tools for growth and guidance for self evauation. On a regular basis, you need to help students identify problem areas and come to workable solutions.

One of the main goals of student self evaluation is to help them discern weaknesses quickly and learn to overcome the tendency to hide or procastinate handling them.

Here are some questions students can ask themselves:

1. What do my peers and teachers say about my work?

2. From 1-10, how important are my teacher's comments to me?

3. Do I spend my time wisely?

4. What kind of things do I accomplish daily?

5. What kind of things do I find myself putting off?

6. What do I want to accomplish in class and what steps do I take to achieve this goal?

7. What stumbling blocks will I have to overcome?

8. How will I feel about the possibility of failing to achieve my goals?

9. Where will I go to get help to accomplish my goals?

These questions will make your students accountable. You can realize that you want to improve your work, however you have to admit the willingness to do so. Student self evaluation gives your students the best of all motivators.

Teaching them the art of self evaluation successfully, will also give you a great deal of satisfaction. We spend our teaching careers trying to help our students do better, but often we focus on what we will do instead of what students will do. Student self evaluation helps us involve students in their improvement.

Self evaluation is time well spent, even though it's a lengthy and involved process. It's an investment in your students' future and makes them more productive and responsible.

We must remind students that it is not a competition - not to compare themselves to others but only to themselves. You, as the teacher, are there to help them be all that they can be. This becomes a very successul partnership and isn't that what it's all about!

"People only see what they are prepared to see" by Emerson.

Happy trails,


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